Officials searching for bear after attack near Jasper leaves man injured
Published Monday, May 26, 2014 10:54AM MDT Last Updated Monday, May 26, 2014 7:18PM MDT
Parks Canada officials said they were searching for a bear near Jasper, after a cyclist was knocked off of his bike over the weekend by a grizzly.
Officials confirmed to CTV News that a Jasper man had been cycling on one of the trails near the Jasper townsite Saturday at about 9 p.m., when a grizzly bear charged the bike and knocked him off of it.
It’s then believed the bear came back, and tried to bite the man, but bit the man’s backpack, puncturing a can of bear spray.
“The bear punctured the bear spray canister that was attached to the outside of his hydration package that he was wearing when that was punctured, the bear got the full extent of the contents on its face,” Resource Conservation Manager John Wilmshurst said.
The man called for help using his cell phone, and was rescued – he was treated for minor injuries and released.
Parks Canada is looking for the bear, and a number of the trails in the area had been closed – those closures are expected to continue for a few days.
According to Parks Canada, officials were aware of three bears in the area at the time, but it’s not clear which one attacked.
It’s believed the attack was defensive, Parks Canada said it was likely the bear was startled, and such incidents are reported once or twice a year.
Those who use the trails are reminded to be cautious, have bear spray and a cell phone on hand just in case.
With files from Serena Mah and Chandra Lye